GlassBattle is a new Google Glass game that answers the question, “Just how awkward is it to play videogames on your eyeglasses?”
GlassBattle is exactly what its portmanteau of a name would suggest: An unlicensed version of classic board game Battleship designed for use on the Google Glass platform. Translated, that means that this is a game you play while strolling around, living your every day life and keep track of a small “screen” within your eyepiece. The game’s entire UI is contained within your fancy electronic glasses, and it’s controlled via voice commands … actually, forget trying to explain GlassBattle. Just watch the thing in action in that clip at top-right. It was crafted by developer BrickSimple and while normally that would mean a highly-polished presentation and lots of glitzy effects, it’s difficult to portray GlassBattle in any light that doesn’t seem at least somewhat awkward, so the clip appears to be an accurate depiction of what playing this game is actually like.
While it’s a neat proof of concept, and the technology behind the Google Glass project is impressive, there are just so many issues we can see with this game from that video demonstration alone. First, that “screen” the game is played on takes up an awfully large portion of a person’s viewing area. You can still navigate the world, but does anyone really need to play a clone of Battleship so badly that they’d be willing to sacrifice full peripheral vision for it?
Further, if this game is being played on your glasses, nobody else has any idea what you’re doing, right? So let’s say you’re walking down the street, playing GlassBattle, and you start firing shots at your opponent’s fleet. Who’s to say your aggressive voice commands won’t be misinterpreted by some figure of authority with an overt, stereotypical fondness for ‘Merica? You could be calmly standing in line at an airport and suddenly find yourself being waterboarded in Gitmo all because you mentioned something about firing a missile at “B8.”
All of that being said, GlassBattle is still a cool demonstration of the technology, if nothing else. It isn’t very graphics intensive, but we expect that as Google Glass matures, more developers with more complex games will jump on board and show us all exactly how stupid a person can look while strolling down the street and playing games on their spectacles.